|Children are our Future
[01/18/2008] [Fenris Blackwood]
Emerald Hills is currently boiling with debate about children not being able to play even at the lowest level of combat in Amtgard: park-level battlegames on your regular Saturday or Sunday. The current Monarch has put an across-the-board ban on fighting at all for anyone 14 and under. No case-by-case basis or checking to see if someone under the age of 14 can handle themselves in a fight - just a blanket no.
This comes at a time when Amtgard as a whole has had a few debates that our game, that some would call a sport, is not meant for children at all. "The kids should stay at home!" Maybe this is because the stick jocks don't want to take shots from someone they don't feel is worthy of their time. Maybe they just want the anklebiters out of the way so they can concentrate on the sport. I'm even willing to accept that the kids might just not be trained well enough yet to play with everyone, and that the adults might want some time on the field without the younger crowd. But fair compromises happen everyday in the world outside our game. And a fair compromise might be able to be accomplished when it comes to children in the game.
Of course, I say the kids are our future. For the players that have played this game for many years, children are a way to continue your legacy. Do you really think that you can live forever? Maybe in Amtgard, but when your flame starts to die and you look back over your life in our world, what is it that you truly want to leave behind? And who do you think it will be to hear that message and continue our old traditions? The children, of course. And I know, from having heard the old stories from some of the ancients in my kingdom, a strong oral tradition must be passed down or the game some of us love dearly may end up being only the sport that others would make it.
I say give the children a chance to grow up learning our traditions and our ways, so that they will be ready and up to the challenge when it comes time for them to switch over and play with the big boys. They will have been exposed to all the aspects of our game in a more structured manner, not just swinging a sword.
Children's Programs in your kingdom can make this difference. With such a program, children can learn the rules and our way of life, yet still be able to compete with kids their age. Putting effort into supporting the children in our game and the parents that bring them every weekend is essential. Don't let your monarch take away the kids in our world, or the future that they bring to our way of life.
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